Alain Prost has said that Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi effectively forced him out of the Formula 1 team at the end of last season.
News leaked on Monday that Prost had left his role of senior advisor to the former Renault team. The four-time world champion claimed Rossi wanted to be the team’s sole figurehead.
Prost confirmed via a social media post that the leaks were true and revealed his disappointment in how the affair has been handled, claiming a lack of respect. He also revealed that he had turned down an offer made in Abu Dhabi to remain with Alpine for the 2022 season.
In an interview with l’Equipe, Prost said he believed that CEO of Alpine Laurent Rossi wanted to be the sole figurehead of the Formula 1 team and that he was “putting people on the sidelines.”
“Laurent Rossi wants to be alone, not to be polluted by anyone. In fact, he told me himself that he no longer needed an advisor,” Prost said.
“That was in Qatar, but he still offered me a contract in Abu Dhabi, which I refused. It must be said that it was a project in which I believed and still believe, an ambitious project which has given the group incredible motivation. But now there is a real desire to put a lot of people on the sidelines.
“Laurent Rossi wants all the light. What interests me is the challenge of being part of a team and being listened to and involved in certain decisions. I was voluntarily very much in the background, but I had a lot of influence in a discreet way despite all the disagreements that I kept to myself.”
The four-time world champion has been with the Enstone/Viry team in the position since the 2017 season back under its Renault guise.
He was a regular presence in the paddock for the team since then.
News of the imminent announcement of his departure leaked on Monday prior to any official confirmation from the team. Prost responded on his own accord via social media, explaining how his departure had come about.
“I am very disappointed how this new has been announced today!” his social media post from Prost said on Monday.
“It was agreed that we would announce together with @alpinef1team! No respect sorry! I have refused the offer made to me in Abu Dhabi for the 2022 season because of a personal relationship and I was right!
“To the Enstone and Viry team I will miss you.”
Alpine has already made a major change in its leadership structure with the departure of Marcin Budkowski.
Budkowski had been executive director of the Alpine team for the 2021 season until confirmation last week that he had departed with immediate effect prior to 2022 season.